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Category Archives: Frequent Flyers

A spending threshold for elite frequent flyers

Shortly after we published our article "Earning less and spending more", Delta Airlines illustrated the trend we signaled. We wrote: "Airlines with relatively new programs base reward levels on how much you pay for your ticket rather than on the miles you fly. Carriers with older programs tend to adjust them to the newer programs." On January 17, 2013, Delta announced a new and additional qualification threshold for its Sky Miles frequent flyer program Medallion. The new   (additional) qualification is your annual spending on Delta flights, beginning January 1, 2014 and applying to your...
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Earning less and spending more

Airlines advertize their frequent flyer programs by emphasizing that members can spend miles on free tickets. But there is no such thing as a free ticket.

If you call your carrier to order a free ticket you will quickly learn 2 things:

1. The number of available award seats is very limited. Often you cannot get an award seat.

2. You need to pay taxes and carrier imposed fees. They total up to half the fare and come on top of the miles you need to spend.

You can earn frequent flyer miles in many ways. By flying,...

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Onrust onder platinum leden van Flying Blue

In een nieuwe campagne doet KLM het voorkomen alsof platinum deelnemers aan Flying Blue, het frequent flyer programma van Air France/KLM, altijd hebben moeten betalen voor een stoel in de zogenoemde comfort zone:

KLM schrijft namelijk aan platinum deelnemers het reizen voor hen net iets specialer te willen maken met nieuwe bestedingsmogelijkheden voor gespaarde mijlen:

“Een heerlijk comfortabele stoel - met extra beenruimte bijvoorbeeld of in een rij van twee. Een à-la-carte maaltijd aan boord. Of meer bagage meenemen. Voorheen betaalde u hiervoor; nú kunt u tevens uw gespaarde Miles...
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No frequent buyer programs

Hans Schroots is a member of KLM's frequent flyer program Flying Blue. The airline informs him in 2011 that the 217,616 miles he has earned will expire on July 31, 2012, unless he will make a flight before this date.

He calls KLM to explain that he would like to use his miles to pay for part of a ticket to Los Angeles in November 2011. This is not possible according to the agent, unless he will fly business class.

When he declines, the KLM agent suggests another solution. By booking...

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All you can fly

In 1981, it seems a good idea. American Airlines starts selling lifetime unlimited AAirpasses hoping to raise millions of dollars at a time when interest rates are sky high.

Prices start at $250,000 (€194,000), while an extra $150,000 (€116,000) buys a companion pass. Older fliers get discounts based on their age.

AAirpass holders earn frequent flier miles on every trip and are lifetime members to the Admirals Club, American's airport lounges.

American sold 66 unlimited AAirpasses. Over time the price increased to $3 million (€2.3...
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Who gets priority at KLM?

Gold and platinum members of Flying BlueAir France/KLM’s frequent flyer program – can reserve seats in the so-called comfort zone, where the pitch is somewhat larger than in the rest of coach class, without paying a fee.

Recently, they got the possibility to include their seat preferences (window or aisle) in their profiles. Several members wrote us that KLM

disregards their preferences. On intercontinental flights they could reserve middle seats in the comfort zone, but no aisle seats.

One of them asks the...

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